According to information that we requested from angels around our launch in October 2018, our individual funders had ~$600,000 in available capital to make early-stage grants for the remainder of 2018. Angels have been making grants during the time the group has been operating, although I am not sure of the exact volume aside from the fact that one angel recently made a grant of ~$25,000 to a project.
I am not sure of the exact volume because angels have not made a grant through a project that has submitted our grant application form yet. This is because we had lower than expected grant application volume since we were unexpectedly delayed for many months pursuing grant sharing with EA funders and trying to launch the EA Project Platform rather than doing a public call for applications and working with volunteers to source evaluations. We are now switching to doing public requests for proposals and active grant opportunity sourcing which I expect will significantly increase the number of grant opportunities we can present to angels. We are continuing to talk with EA funders about grant sharing, and one major funder just expressed an interest in sharing grant applications, so things may be moving forward on that front.
Just to check that I understand… sounds like to date, most of the EA angels have been doing their grant-making through other channels & not reporting those grants to the Angel Group. But you expect this to change in the near future. Is that an accurate summary?
That is correct! The EA Angel Group is designed to help individual funders who are already making grants with discovering more opportunities and hearing from other funders about possible benefits and risks of individual funding opportunities. Many people in the angel group have been heavily involved with the EA community for many years and have a history of making successful grants. Analogous to a for-profit angel group, we do not force angels to do everything through our group, we just seek to add value in terms of helping people fund better opportunities through improving opportunity discovery, evaluation, and funding processes.
We have several layers of checks to help reduce risks and improve grant decision making including initial staff review of incoming applications, angels sharing their evaluations with one another and talking with external contacts/experts if appropriate, and hearing opinions of external grantmakers on grant applications we have received (we still need to talk with grantmakers to set this up).